December 23, 2004

SCR-I Maintains $1.6 Million Balance Despite Difficult Financial Times

Despite the weakened condition of education funding in the state, the Scotland County R-I District has been able to maintain a solid financial balance.

The SCR-I Board of Education received the audit report from the firm Larson, Allen, Weishair, & Co., LLP. during the boardís December 16th meeting. The audit concluded the district had a positive fund balance of $1,621,960 as of June 30, 2004.

The ending fund balances meant the district maintained a 22-percent reserve, which is above the established goal for emergency reserves set at 17 percent several years ago by the board.

Despite the strong financial condition, Superintendent Dave Shalley noted that the stateís financial situation combined with the possibility that the foundation formula which funds state education, may be rewritten, is still cause for concern.

ďIt will be difficult to balance the budget for the 2004-05 fiscal year with major projects such as tuck pointing the elementary building, curbing the Mi-Lor addition, and the elementary library lease coming to an end,Ē Shalley said. ďWe will need to manage our finances carefully in order to maintain an acceptable amount of reserves.Ē

In a related matter, the board received bids from three firms for the 2004-05 audit services. Members voted 6-0 to accept the bid from Peggy Collinge of Edina for $5,200. John Gilliam, CPA, submitted a bid of $5,250 while Larsen, Allen, Weishair & Co., LLP, entered a bid of $6,600.

Library Lease

The lease agreement for the elementary school library building is scheduled to expire at the end of the current school year. The board voted 6-0 to purchase the building from Missouri Equipment Leasing at a cost of $30,000 instead of pursuing a new lease agreement.

Planning Committee

Three years after community members offered suggestions for improvements to the district, the board has agreed to reform a long-range planning committee. The group will help establish future goals for the district while helping to prioritize necessary improvements and capital projects.

Each board member and administrator submitted a list of 10 or more community members for consideration for service on the committee. The names were compiled into a list from which the committee will be selected. The group will be finalized at a later date.

Policy Update

The board adopted a new policy governing overnight trips. The new rules regulate chaperones, which are required to undergo a background check as well as meeting additional requirements for service. The new policy also addresses proper student conduct, supervision and transportation and goes into effect immediately.

NEMO-Net

The current 10-year contract for the NEMO-Net telecommunications service is scheduled to expire at the end of the school year. The board voted 6-0 to extend the contract one year. Member schools that utilize the system to offer interactive-televised classes, are exploring the possibility of applying for a Rural Utilities Service Grant to upgrade equipment and allow more options for courses. The process will take up to a year to complete.

Winter Workshop

Board members will gather February 7 for a winter workshop focusing on initial planning for the next fiscal year.

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